Surviving Festival Season On A Budget

  • 21 Apr 2016
  • Posted by It's Always Summer

Unless you've fallen into a technological black hole, you're well aware that festival season is in full swing, as I'm sure your socials have been flooded with faux flower power lately. As much as we love this time of year, it can be a tad overwhelming. There is the anticipation, the wardrobe changes, convincing your boss to give you yet ANOTHER Friday AND Monday off, the possible FOMO caused by missing out while your besties have the time of their lives in live feed, and then of course theres the task of finding the necessary funds to accomplish it all. Festivals, whether they be one day or three, are not cheap. Passes can be upwards of $500, then theres accomodation, get the picture. Luckily, with a little effort on your part, there are a few loop holes! Heres our list of ways to make the most of the season without totally breaking the bank..

1. Volunteer - It sounds crazy, but its usually insanely easy to get on the events team. With a production the size of Coachella, or Stagecoach, they need all the extra hands they can get! Start scoping out the official site of the festival you want to attend a few months ahead of time, sign up for the newsletter, stay on it..eventually they will be asking for help. You didn't think those art installations just sprouted themselves, did you? It takes a whole team of people getting to the desert a week in advance. Its possible you could score a gig helping with set up, and then be free to enjoy the show! If nothing else, it will help you land a pretty groovey discount on addmission.

2. What to wear - Even though you will be bombarded with high priced festival gear everywhere you turn, theres no need to break the bank. Dolly Parton once said, "It cost a lot of money to look this cheap", and oddly enough, that totally applies to festival threads. Chicks will pay $120 for a top that is shredded, sun bleached, and meant to look like it came from the free love era. Why not go thrifting and find clothes that ACTUALLY did survive the 60s and 70s? One of the great things about LA is the endless supply of second hand stores, thrifts, and even hidden gems by the way of garage and/or estate sales. The possibilities are endless at places like the infamous Goodwill on Beverly Blvd., Melrose Trading Post, and even Jet Rag's $1 yard sale that goes down every ex-roommate once scored a vintage Chanel piece while thrifting in Echo Park. Theres absolutely NO reason to over pay for old school looks!

3. Accomodation - Well, this may not be everyones ideal solution, but glamping is a totally valid form of accomodation. Everyones sweaty, dusty, least you'll look the part of a seasoned festival goer rather than a rookie who can't take the heat! There are plenty of camp grounds near by, and that will definitely cut your cost by probably 25%, or a quarter of overall estimated cost. Renting a house with friends, or even trying to book hotel rooms is a huge struggle, will cost you in transport to and from the grounds, and the price gouging during the season is basically highway robbery. Just bring the party back to your camp site and enjoy the company of your fellow festival goers in true hippie style.

4. Prepare - In the spirit of capitalizing on every freebie possible, start planning ahead by applying for rewards cards. Lets face it, its 2016, I'm sure you're swiping that charge card from time to time. Might as well be stacking up points that you can redeem later for actual cash back, or even better, they can often times be applied double to purchases on gas, hotel, flights; perfect for festival season! The Chase Freedom card is a personal fav, as it offers you 1.5% cash back instantly on every purchase, and thats unlimited. Imagine what you can do with that in a year!


With a little extra effort, and some startegic planning there is no reason why you should have to catch a case of FOMO during festival season! If you have additional tips for surviving festival season, please share them in the comments!